Robotics these days can help with many tasks, from sweeping up the floors in your home to doing surgery with the assistance of a skilled surgeon to operate it. However, one thing artificial intelligence has not mastered yet is how to differentiate between objects on their own or learn how to handle them.
What CAN’T Robots do?
A.I. can do a great many things faster and more efficient than its human counterparts, but one thing we mere mortals have as an advantage is the scientific wonder that is our brains. We have the ability to learn and adapt, and when we handle everyday objects, we treat them with the care that they need or deserve. You wouldn’t throw a ceramic mug into a cabinet, but you might throw a soft sneaker into your closet.
Robots can do simple tasks such as pack boxes, or reach objects that are of a certain size and shape, but how would they handle a stack of different objects of different materials, sizes and weights? The robotic brain cannot yet adapt to learning how to care for these things, but it soon might.
A New System
Researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory may have found a way to advance robotics and get us one step closer to being able to own a smart house. They’ve developed a new system to help robots learn to discern between different objects, as well as how to handle them with the correct care.
The robotic arms were trained by grouping similar objects together, while the arms explored them and learned what they had in common and what was different. Eventually, they were able to learn how to handle different types of shoes, mugs and hats, and pack them in a specific way.
How could this be helpful?
Imagine the human resources it takes to work a giant warehouse that works on a speedy timeline, such as Amazon, and then imagine a robot being able to assist with the packing of objects pulled from shelves. That would be a business side to the advancement.
For your home, this could mean that one-day robots will be working side by side to do simple tasks in your home such as cooking, cleaning and organizing your closet, all while you nap or work.